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UPDATED: A former employee of Visit Isle of Wight is to appear before the Isle of Wight Magistrates court tomorrow (Tuesday) accused of committing fraud by abuse of position to the sum of almost £19,000.

Joanne Thornton, 55, of Heath Lane in Freshwater is accused of dishonestly abusing her position as finance officer at Visit Isle of Wight to make a gain. It is said that she transferred £18,961 from the company account between April 2013 and March 2018, contrary to the Fraud Act 2006.

Mrs Thornton is also accused of theft by an employee between April 2016 and April 2018 when she is said to have stolen cash to the value of £14,913, contrary to the Theft Act 1968.

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The case will be heard in Newport tomorrow.

UPDATE @ 13:35 – Visit Isle of Wight have issued a statement this afternoon ahead of tomorrow’s court appearence.

Will Myles, Managing Director of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, has said:

“I can confirm that following an internal audit earlier this year, some financial irregularities came to light which were referred to the Police. This has resulted in a Police investigation, and a file has now been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service.

“I would like to assure WightBID levy payers that their BID contributions were unaffected and this money has been used in full to deliver the agreed WightBID plan. The team at Visit Isle of Wight is now working hard on preparing exciting marketing campaigns and other BID initiatives for the 2019 season.

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“As this is now a continuing investigation and a potential court case, I’m unable to comment any further at this stage.”

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